Although the plot seems to borrow the pattern of the traditional boxing film, the boxer here — Shravan Kumar (Vineet Kumar Singh) — is not the usual self-destructive, obsessive sportsman but a sincere lover living in a caste-biased society.
Barely educated but passionate about boxing and ambitious enough to be a cut above the rest among the boys of his community, he strives for a government job — reserved in the sports quota — with what he is best at, boxing. Also, he is in love with Sunaina, a Brahmin. He would have got both, if only he was born in the privileged class.
Apart from Shravan and Sunaina, the film’s key figure is Sunaina’s uncle Bhagwan Mishra, played with a strong performance by Jimmy Shergill. He is an extreme casteist, who in his time, had been a renowned boxer. Now as a politician and the patron of the local boxing federation, in the garb of social service he rules his locality as his fiefdom.
The story, which is constructed astutely by Anurag and his team of writers balances three elements — the caste system, boxing and romance. It is indeed an inspirational film and is just as combustible and provocative.
What is fascinating is the delicate handling of the relationship between Shravan and Sunaina. Both win your heart with strong performances. The actors live in the skin of their characters and their onscreen chemistry is undoubtedly palpable.
Your heart definitely goes all out for Vineet Singh who essays the role of Shravan. Zoya Hussain, in her maiden role as the plucky mute Sunaina, is endearing.
Anurag Kashyap’s films usually never exercise restraint in morality. This one is no different, but this time he manages to do it in a natural and seamless manner that makes the bitter pill acceptable.